Okay, I'm about to talk about something really awkward. For my like 2 guy readers, please also stick with me. I want to talk about "rape culture." If you want to see my jumping-off point for this, please check out this recent news article (men: there are two pictures women in underwear. It's not overtly sexy, but you know, check your heart or something before you read...)
I want to talk about it because it seems like this idea is something that Christians should be talking about. Sometimes I think we can hole up with our ideals that sex should be between a husband and a wife and not address anything else. Yes, I do 100% know in my bones that sex was intended to be enjoyed in the safety and security of marriage (and I know the consequences my heart and marriage have suffered from not respecting the parameters God set around sex). But we are absolutely fooling ourselves if we believe people who don't follow the Lord are going to not have sex until they're married. Or that our children will be safe from the culture that surrounds them if we love them enough or protect them enough or something them enough.
We need to talk about this. We need a way to talk about our culture and how it treats women and sex (and women having sex) in our own words. Because I don't think American culture perpetuates rape like some other cultures, but I do definitely believe there is cultural pressure on young women and girls to have sex, and then a societal norm to value them less when they do. And I don't want extreme feminists to be the only ones talking on this subject.
And I do absolutely think it's viewed as acceptable for a young guy to put pressure on a young girl to have sex with (or perform sex acts on) him. Many young women I know then feel as though they will be ostracized within their social circles if they refuse. What follows is, I believe, what can fairly be called non-consensual sex. The girl is often then subjected to worse pressure and treatment before (since she is now an easier target). I say it's viewed as acceptable because the guy doesn't get ostracized for doing that. Even in middle school. And where do you think that came from? Did it plop into his head out of nothing but his fallen nature?
I don't think this is okay. Perhaps many of my friends didn't see this kind of thing happen in their junior high and high schools. I'm sure a lot of you did, though. I know that that was rampant in my school and has seemed to only become worse.
We are the light of the world. We need to talk about this and how to help. Yes, I want to make sure my sons are not users of women, and I want to make sure my daughters know that their bodies are much too awesome to be given to some pubescent predator, but what about the girl down the street? Do we abandon those who didn't happen to be born to us (or adopted by us)?
Tomorrow I'll be sharing a part of my story. If you believe rape can only be done by a stranger in an alley, I ask that you at least read my words tomorrow.